Rallycross is a spectacular form of sprint style automobile racing, held on a closed mixed-surface racing circuit, with modified production or specially built road cars, similar to the World Rally Cars, but with about 250 bhp stronger engines. It is mainly popular in the Nordic countries, Holland, Belgium, France and Great Britain. An inexpensive, entry level type of rallycross is the Swedish folkrace or its Norwegian counterpart, the so-called bilcross.
The sport started as some kind of a TV show (with especially invited rally drivers), produced by Robert Reed of ABC television for ITVs World of Sport programme, at Lydden Circuit (between Dover and Canterbury) in Great Britain on Saturday, 4th February 1967; the first ever true rallycross was won by 1968 Rally Monte Carlo winner Vic Elford. After only one and a half years and several RX events at Lydden as well as Croft Circuit (near Darlington) ITV dropped Rallycross by the end of 1968 and BBC adopted the young sport for its Grandstand programme.
The largest competition nowadays is the FIA European Championship for Rallycross Drivers. Nordic drivers have dominated the sport ever since the end of the 1970s, with names as Martin "Mister Rallycross" Schanche (Norway), Olle Arnesson (Sweden), Matti Alamäki (Finland) and Kenneth "His Kennyness" Hansen (Sweden) as some of the more famous. British drivers to win European rallycross titles were the first ever European RX champion, Scotsman John Taylor (in 1973) and the two Englishmen Will Gollop (1992) and Richard Hutton (1994).
In rallycross several cars start abreast at the same time, and drive three to six laps on a rather short racing track, setting the best qualifying times. In the end there are 'C', 'B' and 'A' finals for the 16 fastest drivers of the qualification and the overall winner of the event will be decided in an afternoon showdown. Rallycross is a relative small sport compared to rally and asphalt racing.